The directors are required by the Companies Act to maintain records and prepare financial statements, which fairly present the state of affairs of the company as at the end of the financial year and the results of its operations for that year, in conformity with International Financial Reporting Standards. The financial statements are the responsibility of the directors and it is the responsibility of the independent external auditors to report thereon.

To enable the directors to meet these responsibilities, standards have been set, including the application of the company’s Internal Control Framework. Tongaat Hulett Limited’s Internal Control Framework is based on the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Integrated Framework, which has emerged as the leading framework that companies and auditors use to evaluate controls.

Systems of internal control are implemented to reduce the risk of error, loss or failure to achieve corporate objectives in a cost effective manner. These controls include the proper delegation of responsibilities within a clearly defined framework of prudent and effective accounting procedures and adequate segregation of duties. They are monitored throughout the company and all employees are required to maintain the highest ethical standards in ensuring that the company’s business practices are conducted in an appropriate manner, which is above reproach.

The company’s internal audit function operates independently in all operations to appraise and evaluate the effectiveness of the operational activities and the attendant business risks. Where necessary, recommendations are made for improvements in the systems of internal control and accounting practice based on internal audit plans and reports which take cognisance of relative degrees of risk of each function or aspect of business.

Comprehensive management reporting disciplines are in place, which include the preparation of annual budgets by all operating entities. The operating Boards approve individual operational budgets, while the company budget is reviewed and approved by the Tongaat Hulett Board. Monthly results and the financial status of the operations are reported against budgets and forecasts and compared to the results of the prior year. Profit projections and cash flow forecasts are regularly updated, taking into account various economic scenarios and working capital and borrowing levels are monitored on an ongoing basis.